JWG (jwg) wrote,

My cars - Phase II - and my night in jail

After admitting the impracticality of my Simca Cinq and it ran into some severe engine trouble I decided to get a full-sized car. The '40 Chevy was still on my parents property in Stormville, ran and used there a bit, but wasn't licensed. So I bought a used 1953 (I think) Pontiac in about 1957.

During the summer ('57 or '58 I think) when I was working as a camp counselor in Maine one night I and a few other counselors drove into Lewiston, Maine (~ 20 miles away) for pizza. On the way home I got into a minor accident hitting another car in an intersection (not clear who was at fault). My car wasn't drivable so it had to be towed. The police took us to the Police Station and when we were done I called the camp but no-one answered the phone (it was close to midnight). The cops asked what we were going to do and our reply was we'd try to hitch a ride back to camp. They said if you do we'll arrest you since hitchiking is illegal, but you can spend the night in a jail cell and we won't book you. And so we did! As I recall there were four of us and there were at least that many cots and no-one else was there. The door wasn't locked. In the morning we called camp and someone came to pick us up.

The car got repaired and was drivable but the frame was a bit twisted so soon after I got back home I bought another car - a ~54 Dodge. My fuzzy memory says that it had some engine problems and I then used a spare car my father had - I think it was a Ford.

In the spring term of 1962 I had gotten tired of grad school and my attempts to be a physicist and having taken a computer programming course in the fall term plus several that term I decided it was time to get a job in the computer industry. And with a job I could get a new car and decided on a 1962 MG-A. I had a great interview at Honeywell and got a verbal offer at the interview. On the way home I stopped at a bank and got a loan application. A few days later I received the written offer, accepted it and set a starting date in June. So I went out and ordered my new car. Took out the loan (better deal than financing through the dealer). And soon I had my bright red MG-A.

That spring term and during the summer I had been living in a rented room near MIT but often spent the night on the couch in a friend's room in Baker House at MIT - and had my own bed there during the summer. I and two other friends found an apartment in Belmont and we moved in late summer or September.

One of those people, Roger, had won an MG-Sprite in a contest, and the other, Doug, bought a Triumph TR-3. They were all red so in our backyard parking area there were 3 red sports cars. Several years later I replaced my MG-A (it was having not serious, but annoying and not properly fixable engine troubles) with a red 1964 MG-B. (An amusing thing ablout the MG-A was that the carburator and ignition control were on the left side of the engine and there was a linkage to the right side because it was a right-side drive car for England; the US verion had a linkage from the rignt side linkage back to the left side to acomodate the left-side drive version.) Roger moved away and his "replacement", Mac, had a green VW beetle. - so no more 3 red sports cars in our backyard.
Tags: cars, nostalgia, personal

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